The Indian Navy on Thursday, March 9, augmented its firepower by inducting into its ranks the Water Jet Fast Attack Craft (WJFAC) named INS Tillanchang, thereby augmenting its firepower along the coastal region. Flag Officer Commanding-in-Chief of the Western Naval Command, Vice Admiral Girish Luthra, commissioned the craft into the Navy at Karwar in Karnataka on Thursday at a time when the country is jockeying for supremacy in several fronts along the Indian Ocean and nearby areas.
Building strength along West coast
The Defence Ministry has said in a statement the following about the new WJFAC: "INS Tillanchang is the third ship of four follow-on WJFAC built by the Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers (GRSE), Kolkata... The ship has been indigenously designed and built and is an upgrade from the Chetlat class of Fast Attack Craft that the Indian Navy possesses."
The ministry added in the statement: "The first two ships of the class, IN ships Tarmugli and Tihayu were commissioned in 2016 and are based at Visakhapatnam." It may be noted that while Visakhapatnam is in the East coast and stationing Tarmugli and Tihayu there ensures proper patrolling of and fast response in the Bay of Bengal, the Tillanchang is going to be based in Karwar in Karnataka, on the West coast, which means it can be used to monitor and provide response in the Arabian Sea.
According to the Defence Ministry's statement: "INS Tillanchang is about 50 m long and powered by three waterjet propulsion systems, which give it speeds of over 35 knots. The ship is armed with a 30-mm main gun and a number of light, medium and heavy machine guns to undertake operations at sea. It is manned by 50 personnel."
The ministry added in the statement: "Tillanchang, commanded by Commander Adit Patnaik, is an ideal platform for a number of missions like Coastal and Offshore Surveillance, EEZ Control, Law Enforcement as well as non-military missions such as Search and Rescue, Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief."